YMMV: Zero Dark Thirty

  • Anticlimax Boss: Osama bin Laden gets nailed through the head as soon as he opens the door. Justified, since he is an unarmed old man going up against a team of Navy SEALS, defended by only three of his goons and that's more or less exactly what happened in real life.
  • Award Snub: Kathryn Bigelow's omission as a Best Director nominee at the Oscars is widely seen as this.
    • As well the film losing in nearly every other category it was nominated for, with the exception of a win (shared with Skyfall) in the decidedly minor category of Sound Editing. This is especially glaring considering that it was a very strong contender in all categories before losing steam in the wake of controversy over its torture scenes—in particular, Jessica Chastain went from being a certainty for Best Actress when the film was first released to a long shot by the time the awards ceremony rolled around.
  • Genius Bonus: The film relies on people being familiar with Pakistan's ISI note , who James Gandolfini is playing note , and so forth. Heck, the film's poster image only makes sense to those who know that it is a satellite image of OBL's estate.
    • By reading No Easy Day, a book written by one of the SEAL raiders, a lot more knowledge and information becomes clear about the raid and the SEALs.
      • Ironically the book was published after film production had ended, and it confirms the existence of "Maya" (called "Jen" in the book). Jessica Chastain has talked of reading the book and being amazed at how much of Maya's scenes and dialogue ("100 percent") are reflected in the book. Even the film's last scene of Maya crying is reported in the book.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The film used consultants from the CIA that said the use of Enhanced Interrogation had led to Osama Bin Laden, but in 2014 a Democrat led committee released the CIA's reports on the Enhanced Interrogations (Torture) of accused Terrorists, and the reports showed that at no time had the CIA been able to use any information gained through torture, which makes the opening scenes where torture only leaves a prisoner broken and screaming all the more resonant.
    • Further, the real life woman who was partially the inspiration for Maya (she was a Composite Character) was revealed in that same report to be a key architect of that same torture program.
  • Magnum Opus: A fair number of viewers and critics found the film to be this for Kathryn Bigelow. The film was also easily one of the most critically-acclaimed features of 2012.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Many critics accused the film of endorsing torture.